BBC to broadcast classic Reading & Leeds performances later this month

They'll be screened on the same weekend that the 2020 festival had been set to take place

The BBC has announced that it will show a series of classic performances from Reading & Leeds Festival on the same weekend that the 2020 event should have been taking place.

This year’s edition was set to be headlined by Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Rage Against The Machine, but was ultimately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, it’s been confirmed that they’ll fill the gap over the August bank holiday weekend (August 28-30) by broadcasting a string of classic performances from the likes of Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Billie Eilish, The 1975, Radiohead, Muse and many more.


Foo Fighters’ 2019 headline set will broadcast from midnight to 2am on August 29 on BBC Four, while the other sets can be viewed on BBC iPlayer over the weekend.

“We’re buzzing to announce that we’re teaming up with BBC Music to bring you live performances from Reading & Leeds over the years,” the festival organisers said.

“We’ll be marking the August bank holiday with a selection of exclusive performances and unforgettable memories.”

You can check out a selection of sets on offer below.

In June, R&L boss Melvin Benn suggested a proposal advocating an increase in coronavirus testing in order to enable the full re-opening of music venues, pubs and sporting events and serve as an alternative to social distancing following the pandemic.

Benn, who is the Managing Director of Festival Republic, called for the increase in testing as the UK’s leisure industries “cannot operate with the measures that are currently in place”.


‘The Full Capacity Plan’ instead proposed an incentive-based scheme that will advocate the widespread public use of the NHS COVID-19 App, which aims to automate the process of contact tracing and spark an increase in population testing.

It remains unclear whether festivals will be able to return in their fullest form next year.